TOC Toolkit

TOC Tool Kit

Check out help dealing with stress specifically designed in collaboration with the BCTF for TTOCs at

Feb. Workshop Update:
—— The main idea of the TOC Tool Kit is to create resources and skills as a TOC that will help now, and become resources you can use throughout your career.
The other key idea is that we need to learn to ‘automatically’ share what you have done so that we can all benefit from your work. This is one place where you can easily share. You can click on the edit button and paste in what you have created. You will need to be a member of this wiki to upload/download materials.

Study Skills:
—— The idea in this lesson is to:

  • teach careful listening using the telephone note pad activity
  • then take a text passage from Wikipedia and then
  • vary the reading levels on the passage to create text passages for the reading levels you expect in your class. It doesn’t take too long once you learn to do it. AND once you have done it and share it the rest of us can use it!!.
  • then use that passage to first demonstrate finding the main idea, and details, then gradually release so the students take the notes on their own.
  • once you see some students doing it successfully, then provide them with passages you have created with a higher and therefore more challenging reading level. (see asteroid sample for example)

Here are the steps and resources:
Listening then Note-taking activities:
1. Copy the Telephone note pad onto both sides of a page. Telephone message Pad Template (print out double sided).
Then read out a telephone call (see the sample script below) and have the students write the key information on the message form.
Model the first time through. Then make up your own, & complete the form together, then independently practice, and finally have a pair of students create a phone call.
Remember: I Do it, We Do It, We Do It, You Do it. It is one of the strategies in the Start UP! Your Class workshop.

Eg. “Hello, this is Bob, could I speak to Patrick please.”
Oh, could you please leave him a message?
We are having our soccer practice tomorrow at the park instead of at school.
Check to see that all have correctly filled in Bob and Patrick’s name etc
Continue with the conversation..
Could you please ask Bob to call me at 7:00?
-I’d like him to call me about a math question in the text book.
Ok, thank you very much.

2. Creating text passages for each students’ grade level–Remember you will need to create passages for the range of grade in your class…. usually the range is equal to the grade… ie. a range of 6 years in a grade 6 class: this means you could create gr. 3, 6 & 9 passages.

Try it with this text, Download this page Why Sodium?
Then paste the second and third paragraphs to measure the reading level, paste at least 75 words from the passage here into this passage generator:
Then try adjusting the text (try the last 2 paragraphs) to grade 5 on the Lix scale (it’s about grade 9 now).

3. Nutrition/Action programs:
Nutrition awareness is a component of building a success study system.
There are many programs out there, such as Sip Smart (sugary drinks), designed to help children become healthier. In general they have been extensively tested in classrooms and their sponsors, such as Action Schools will be around for years. I have used several in my class.
There are several programs out there,
The best source is ActionSchools BC.
Here is a link to enable you to download their Healthy Eating Resource guide. This guide contains 150+ pages of lesson suggestions that meet BC Curriculum guidelines.
Classroom Healthy Eating Action Resource:

  • Sample activity: Me and My Sodium Intake pg. 137-141 & Healthy Eating Overview 4-7 pg. 103-104
  • Asteroid Activity: Sample showing the adjustments to the reading level from gr. 10 to gr. 5 for a sample of text on Asteroids from Wikibooks

Note taking or Note making
Shared by Patricia Finlay District Librarian Burnaby SD.
What is the purpose for making notes?

Students should have generated questions of what they want to know about a topic. They need to select books/websites/media that have information that will answer their questions.

Their notes should have the key information that will help them answer those questions. The notes can also include their own ideas/thoughts/comments about the information they have found.

Model a strategy for making notes

Select a paragraph related to the topic of study which has some information that answers students’ questions. Either on an overhead or interactive board display the paragraph. Have a student(s) read the paragraph aloud to class.

Ask students if there are any words/vocabulary they do not understand. If so then ask if any student can define/explain the words and/or use a dictionary.

Ask students if there are any ideas they do not understand. If so then ask if any student can explain or explain it yourself.

BIG IDEA – you can not make notes from information that you do not understand

Draw a three column chart.

In the first column write the first sentence(s) of the paragraph (select the sentence or sentences that tell one main idea about the topic). Ask the students to discuss with a partner what they learned about the topic from those sentences. Then ask several students to tell in their own words what they learned.

In the second column write down a student’s sentence explaining the information from the first sentence(s) in the paragraph. Using the student’s sentence ask the class what are the “key” or “important” words that would help them remember this idea or fact.

In the third column write down in note form the key words and phrases that the students identified.

Repeat with another sentence with the whole class. If the students appear to understand then ask them to do several more sentences working with a partner. Get the students together as whole class and ask some of the partners to share their sentences and their key word notes.

BIG IDEA – usually when we make notes we do Step 1 (understanding what we are reading) and Step 2 (putting the ideas into our own words) by thinking individually and not writing it out. Step 3 is when we write down the key words and phrases. However sometimes it helps to talk to someone about what we are reading and writing out our thoughts in our own words before we make the notes.

Organizing Notes

There are many ideas for graphic organizers to help students make notes.

Divide a page into three columns and many rows making small boxes. Each box can only hold a key word or phrase. Students cut out boxes, sort out the notes to put key words/phrases together and paste boxes in appropriate groups on a bigger sheet of paper.

Students fold a paper into two columns – the left column narrower than the right column. In the first column you could write a question about the topic or write one main idea or heading. In the second column you write the key words and phrases that answer that question or give details about the main idea.

Students fold a paper into three columns with the middle column being the widest. The first column has the question/main idea, the second column has the key words & phrases and the third column names the source of the information.

Orient paper in landscape position. Draw several columns – one for each question or main idea about the topic. Write notes in the appropriate column.
From Waterloo Region District School Board – Library Learning Commons

Note Taking Checklist

As you do your assignment, constantly check to see that your notes are:


  • Gather data that helps you answer your research questions
  • Gather supporting evidence for your own ideas about the topic. This might include:
    • Factual information
    • Others’ observations about the topic
    • Experts’ opinions about the topic
  • Record your own thoughts about the information:
    • Ideas for further exploration
    • Responses to the facts and opinions you have gathered
    • Questions you have about the information


  • Look for the key ideas from your information sources
  • Keep checking the information you are gathering:
    • Does it help you answer your research questions?
    • Are you staying on the topic?
    • Is it interesting, but not really needed for this task?
    • Is it repetitive?


  • Use point form, not complete sentences
  • Don’t record unneeded words (i.e., the, this, and)
  • Be brief: use abbreviations and symbols
  • Omit unneeded examples


  • Keep all of your notes together in a research folder
  • Use the best note-taking technique to suit your research task
  • Use the best note-taking organizer to suit each information source


  • Use quality, up-to-date information sources. Critically assess the quality of your sources
  • Verify suspicious information by checking another source. This might include information that is:
    • Outdated
    • Biased or exaggerated
    • An unsupported opinion
  • Be careful to record information correctly
  • When paraphrasing, keep the author’s intended meaning
  • When quoting, copy exactly and correctly from the source


  • Use your own words, and express your own ideas
  • Cite all sources accurately: words, ideas, images, media files
  • Keep track of your information sources as you take notes: know what information you got from what source
  • Always give credit to people whose ideas you have paraphrased
  • Always give credit for quotes